Photographer Talks About Closing of Gridley Herald Newspaper

Gridley Herald photojournalist Ricki Donnahoe talks about her love for the newspaper that delivered its final edition to readers after 137 years in business in Butte County.

Posted: Sep 2, 2018 12:15 PM
Updated: Sep 3, 2018 11:16 AM

GRIDLEY, Calif. - It is the end of an era. The Gridley Herald, a newspaper that has been providing news to Biggs, Gridley and Live Oak since 1880, is no longer printing the publication.

Front Page Photo by Gridley Herald Photographer Ricki Donnahoe

Action News Now reporter Jafet Serrato spoke to a laid-off employee. Photographer Ricki Donnahoe described what she would say to her editor on a typical day. "Give me something to shoot! It's going to be on the front page of the newspaper, so give me something to shoot," she would plead.

Donnahoe loves to take photographs and lots of them. She is a passionate photojournalist who has taken hundreds of pictures for the Gridley Herald, ranging from high school football, the Butte County Fair to city council meetings.

Sports Photo by Gridley Herald Photographer Ricki Donnahoe

Last Thursday, Donnahoe got the abrupt news that she will no longer be working for the newspaper.

She explained, saying, "after 137 years they came in and closed the doors this morning."

"My heart broke," she added. "I have been here all my life, I was raised here. My father was the police chief here."

Gridley Herald Photographer Ricki Donnahoe

Donnahoe has been taking photos for the paper the past ten years, is now unemployed, and is deeply saddened by the situation.

The Gridley Herald released their final publication on Friday, sending a farewell note to their 600 subscribers. The newspaper blames the increase in newsprint costs, as well as a low number of advertisers.

Gridley Herald Goodbye

Although Donnahoe will be fine without her job, she is still worried about residents who have depended on the newspaper for their local news.

"Not everybody has social media," she said. "Not everybody has a computer or a smartphone. Our older generation depends on this paper." 

Donnahoe said she only had five co-workers at the paper, which sometimes meant having to work 18-hour shifts. She hopes the paper left a mark.

"The message that the Gridley Herald left behind was impeccable," she said. 

"It's a sad day like I said. Wednesdays and Fridays are going to be kind of empty, cause that's when we would get our paper," Donnahoe said. 

Please check out our photo gallery showing more photos relating to the Gridley Herald, a long time North State institution. They have shut down the presses, and they will be closing their doors soon, after 137 years in business.

The Gridley Herald announced they would keep the office at 650 Kentucky Street open for another month for readers and advertisers who might have questions about refunds. They can be reached at (530) 846-3661.

Office of Gridley Herald

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